Tucked-away treasure found in NH
By Mary Matsumoto
Mary Matsumoto photos
The friendly staff at Seasons by Design in New Holstein includes (standing, from left) Kathy Lefeber, Toni Rodriguez, B. J. Jaeckels and owner Jillayne Bertram; and (seated) Debi Heimann and Hailey Tasch—not to mention Bailey in front. Not pictured are sales associates Kim Stange, Amy Hostettler and Jill Frank.

If you can find your way to Seasons by Design in New Holstein, you’re in for an adventure.

Tucked off STH 32/57 on Ford Drive behind Gruett’s-New Holland, a passerby might not notice this treasure trove hidden from the main drag. Probably the best way to describe the location is to say it’s across the road from Honeymoon Acres on the north side of town. Look for the brightly colored billboard on Ford Drive that marks the entrance.

Walk inside, slowing your pace to admire the garden stakes, birdfeeders and other outdoor décor.

Then, when you step through the second door that leads to the main part of the building, you are met with a feast for the eyes, stopping you in your tracks for a moment. Take a while to drink it in, along with the sweet scent of candles and the soothing sound of background music.

Once you discover the outlay of the store, you can wander through it section by section. If you’d like, you can even request a guided tour with a willing clerk who will help you find your way around and locate that special item for which you are looking.

Goodies everywhere

Here are some goodies you’ll encounter along the way.

In the front of the store, owner Jillayne Bertram and her design team display seasonal fare, items that change with the calendar, running from spring and Easter to fall and Christmas and everything in between.

On the left is the Kameleon Interchangeable jewelry line, fashion jewelry made with sterling silver, genuine stone and Swarovski crystals. Rings, necklaces and bracelets that change to fit the occasion with decorative “jewelpops.” And every customer receives her 11th pop free. In addition, Seasons by Design runs approximately three trunk shows a year to give customers previews of new merchandise.

In addition to Kameleon, you will find Annaleece, a jewelry line connected with the Swarovski company.

“It’s a high-end fashion jewelry,” said Jillayne. “It’s all guaranteed. Beautiful quality.”

If you can tear yourself away from the jewelry counter, wander past home décor—wine racks, lamps, clocks and so much more. These are unique, one-of-a-kind items Jill picks out personally, things she would be happy to put in her own home. She looks to offer her customers the utmost quality for their money. These things, too, are ever changing because Jill purchases a limited number of each piece so her customers have something unique, something they won’t find in everyone’s home.

Keeps prices low

Located in a small community as she is, Jillayne keeps her prices down, too, though her inventory sells for much more in places like Cedarburg, Kohler and Door County.

“I have an interior decorator who comes from Milwaukee,” she said. “She comes here to purchase her supply because it’s not only unique, but she says she can’t beat the prices.”

Notice the LED display, delicate flowering branches that light up to add romance to a home setting. Pillar candles that look real but run on a timer or remote control so that even people with cats and small children can have the ambiance of candles without the worry that they’ll get knocked over.

Men will enjoy the leather-scented candles, the Harley-related gifts or those connected with hunting and fishing.

The character bottle caddies are adorable, each unique steel sculpture representing a different profession or interest— from architects to waiters, bicyclists to weight lifters.

Seasons by Design also has the area’s largest selection of memorial and inspiration gifts, gifts that can be given during times of illness, bereavement, gifts that provide inspiration and motivation. You will find stepping stones, statuary, and religious items. Angels by Foundations is an especially popular item with different themes for each occasion.

You’ll enjoy the Green Bay Packer jackets and colorful hand-painted wine glasses. And by all means, wander past the Rabbit Creek offerings of delicious dips and mixes, as well as the gourmet coffee and tea display complete with coffee-scented candles and a fun collection of teapots. You’ll want to take them all home.

Speaking of candles, do take time to inspect the wide selection that line the shelves like a floral-scented rainbow. These are Colonial Candles, a soy blend with cotton wicks. They are environment friendly and do not spew soot to walls and windows, like low-quality candles do.

The store features two fragrances a week and celebrates them by putting them on sale and giving complimentary samples.

Seasons by Design also offers Wood-Wick candles. Their wooden wicks crackle as they burn, like miniature fireplaces. Also a soy blend, they burn clean and evenly all the way down.

Warmers vs. open flames

Some people would rather use candle warmer lamps than harbor an open flame. The halogen bulb heats the candle from the top, dissipating a much more intense fragrance than a hot plate does. Candles last longer, too.

And what woman wouldn’t be captivated by the store’s collection of Switch-Flops by Lindsay Phillips? Everything from dress shoes to flip flops to sandals with interchanging accessories—decorative straps for the flip flops and jeweled snaps for the sandals and dress shoes. That way, the look of your shoes can change in, well, a snap.

But wait. There’s more.

Matching purses in stunning styles and scarves—lots of elegant scarves.

More jewelry—big beaded rings and necklaces that are unique works of art. Unlike the merchandise in a superstore, these pieces are not a shipload of cookie-cutter items ordered in bulk. As each stunning piece of jewelry sells, Jill and her staff bring in something different to replace it.

“I want my customers to feel special and unique,” she said.

Not to be overlooked are the tweens. They have a section of their own, exciting décor for their bedrooms, walls, jewelry, handbags and wallets. And there will be still more in the future.

There is a limited section for babies— newborn to 4t. Darling little shoes with ruffles and bows and outfits to match. And children’s books. These would be appreciated by a recipient on many occasions, from baby showers to baptismal gifts.

Pet gifts and gorgeous stained glass. Unique collectibles and picture frames. It’s enough to make your head swim.

Still, don’t miss the clearance section. Pink tags are 50 percent of their already discounted 50 percent off price.

Jill has other promotions on a regular basis, too. Do take advantage of her texting club. By sending A398 to 36000, customers receive $2 off the first purchase just by showing the text message. From then on, they also receive word about special events and offers before others do, some offers exclusive to the club.

And check out their Facebook page to confirm current hours and see their latest arrivals. Jill makes it a point to post numerous new items every week. You can also contact the store by e-mail: seasonsbydesigngift@yahoo.com.

The shop also sponsors special events on a regular basis where drawings are held every 15 minutes for gifts. Shoppers get excited as they hear various names called out. There are tastings and treats.

Also available as gifts are baskets. You can put them together yourself, ask for assistance in making your selections or have the staff do it for you. By knowing your dollar amount and a few facts about the recipient, they will put together items that will make an elegant gift.

Keep in mind that the store hours change during spring, the busiest season aside from fall and Christmas. From April 1, they are open seven days a week.

The thing is, with rising gas prices, why would anyone want to drive the distance to bigger cities to shop in stores with higher prices when they have such a treasure trove right here?

When you enter the doors to Seasons by Design, with the reasonable prices, the huge selection, and the unique merchandise, your biggest problem will be making up your mind.